A traditional Vietnamese street food dish of spicy minced beef wrapped in wild betel leaves.
Roughly chop 1 of the chilli's, peel the garlic, zest and juice the lime. Place all of these into a food processor along with the palm sugar and fish sauce, blitz together and keep in the fridge until needed.You may want to thin this down with a little water depending on how much juice you get from the lime.
Cook the rice noodles in boiling water till tender and then run under cold water to refresh them and take some starch out. If your not going to use straight away run a little cooking oil through them to prevent them sticking.
Toast the peanuts in a hot pan with no oil until browned.
Finely slice the remaining two chilli's.
Peel the outer husk from the lemongrass, crush with the back of a knife and then finely slice. peel and puree the garlic. Top and tail the spring onion and finely slice.
Mix together the beef, lemongrass, spring onions, garlic, salt and pepper.Place the mix into the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Meanwhile, pick the individual betel leaves and wash in cold water. Lay the leaves flat on a cloth to dry.
To form the rolls, lay a large betel leaf (or 2 smaller leaves), shiny side down, on a board with the stem of the leaf pointing towards you. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the beef mixture onto the bottom edge of the leaf. Work it into a sausage shape, then roll the leaf from bottom to top and place the seam flat on your bench to stop the leaf unrolling. Repeat this process until you have used all of the beef. The mixture should make about 20 rolls.
Cook the parcels, seam first, on a char-grill, frying pan or barbecue hotplate over medium heat, turning to color all over, for about 5 minutes, or until done.
To Serve: Run a little of the nuoc cham through the noodles, place equal amounts onto a plate, top with the betel leaf parcels, then scatter with red chilli's, peanuts and finish with coriander cress and the remaining nuoc cham in a dipping pot on the side.
«This is street food so don't be afraid to stray from the recipe, you can easily replace the beef with pork, chicken or prawns. If you cant find betel leaves you could use quarter nori sheets for a similar version. »